Hart Health Strategies provides a comprehensive policy briefing on a weekly basis. This in-depth health policy briefing is sent out at the beginning of each week. The health policy briefing recaps the previous week and previews the week ahead. It alerts clients to upcoming congressional hearings, newly introduced bills, regulatory announcements, and implementation activity related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and other health laws.


CHIP Extension Proposed in Both Chambers

Democrats of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee have introduced legislation that would extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through fiscal year (FY) 2019. S. 522, the Protecting and Retaining Our Children’s Health Insurance Program (PRO-CHIP) was introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and cosponsored by all of the chamber’s Democrats. The bill would be a clean extension of funding for the program, which is currently set to expire at the end of September of this year. H.R. 919, the CHIP Extension and Improvement Act of 2015, was introduced by Ranking Member of the Health Subcommittee Gene Green (D-Texas) and Ranking Member Frank of the full Energy and Commerce Committee Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.). H.R. 919 would also aim to reduce bureaucracy and increase state flexibility in management of the program. The introduction of both bills was widely supported by children’s advocacy groups. CHIP provides coverage to approximately 10 million children and has generally received strong bipartisan support. But despite pressure from nearly 40 governors urging Congress to renew CHIP funding, some Republicans feel that the program overlaps with benefits offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Democrats argue that because many states have not expanded their Medicaid programs since the passage of the ACA, up to 2.7 million children could fall into an insurance gap if CHIP is allowed to expire.

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